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Motorola Stingray Tablet for Verizon Landing First Quarter 2011

We’re just about into the third quarter of 2010, which means that wireless carriers are getting ready to release one last salvo at the consumer. With the holiday shopping season upon us, there’s no surprise here that Verizon would be gearing up to release a plethora of handsets before the end of the year. And, while there’s plenty of big names being dropped, the main takeaway from the leak today, is that the Motorola Stingray tablet, which will feature Android 3.0 “Gingerbread,” won’t be making its presence known until after the holiday shopping season.

First though, let’s go through the rest of the leak. According to a tipster, Engadget believes that quite a lot is going to happen with Verizon here in the coming months. Firstly, it looks like the BlackBerry Storm 3 from Research In Motion is actually cancelled. Their source says that it may still show up somewhere, but that it isn’t coming out for Verizon. Additionally, the BlackBerry Curve 3G, Tour, and Bold 9650 are all getting software updates some time in October, which are meant to address some known issues with the devices.

And that’s it for non-Android related handset news. According to the tipster, Verizon is still pushing Android hard, and it shows from the products being mentioned here. The Samsung Continuum (SCH-i400, which broke cover earlier today), is set for a late October release, and it will feature that dual-screen front, with the 1GHz processor under the hood. Motorola has a Venus handset coming out in October, too, and it’s billed as featuring a full physical QWERTY keyboard, with a “BlackBerry look and feel.” There’s going to be a 1GHz processor under the hood here, too.

The Motorola Droid Pro, or the Global/World Edition if you prefer, is set to launch in late October, or early November, and it features a 1.3GHz processor, as well as global capabilities. And then the HTC Merge/Lexicon/Lexikon is set to launch at almost the same time as the rest of them, slated for late October or early November. This is the device that features a full slide-out physical QWERTY keyboard, and a 1GHz processor. And then there’s LG’s effort into the Android party, with a handset that may actually be worth awhile (unlike what they have on offer here in the States now). It will have the same body as the LG enV Touch, but it will be called the LG enV Pro. It will also have a 1GHz processor under the hood.

Rounding it up, the Verizon FiveSpot is set to launch next month, while three LTE modems are set to launch in November, and finally an LTE MiF is set to break cover some time after all that. The rumor has it that the FiveSpot from ZTE will launch on October 6th. The three LTE modems are set to come from manufacturers Pantech, LG, and Novatel. And, as you may have guessed, the MiFi will launch from manufacturer Novatel.

The Motorola Stingray tablet, which was first rumored to be “just another tablet,” is actually looking better. The tipster says that it will feature a 10-inch display, run Android 3.0 “Gingerbread,” but that it isn’t due for release until some time in the first quarter of 2011. There will be 16GB of on board storage, and you’ll also find NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 processor under the hood. But, what’s better, is that the tipster suggests that it will be able to be “hardware upgraded” to LTE, when the time comes.

[via Engadget]

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Galaxy Nexus For Verizon: First Impressions

The best Android phone to date, the Galaxy Nexus dazzles with its curved display, sleek design, fast performance, and, of course, the Ice Cream Sandwich update.

If you’ve been holding out for the next great Android superphone, your time has come: The Galaxy Nexus has arrived on U.S. shores. We’re lucky enough to have one in the PCWorld offices, and so far the Galaxy Nexus looks to be worth the wait. We’ll be posting our full rated review of the Galaxy Nexus tomorrow morning, after we conduct performance tests in the PCWorld Labs.

Taking a cue from Apple products, the Galaxy Nexus comes in attractive, minimalist packaging. Other than an embossed Verizon logo, the white box is completely plain. Opening the box reveals a red interior with a USB cable, a wall charger, headphones, and the Galaxy Nexus itself.

When I picked up the Galaxy Nexus, my first thought was, “This looks like a Samsung phone, but it doesn’t feel like a Samsung phone.” The glossy display, piano-black bezel, and textured back are all characteristic of Samsung design. But unlike other Galaxy phones I’ve reviewed, the Galaxy Nexus feels high quality. At 5.1 ounces, it has a nice substantial weight to it without being too heavy. As you can see from the photos, the Galaxy Nexus has a subtle curve, which nicely contours to the hand. If you have small hands like me, however, you might find the Galaxy Nexus a bit large (it measures 5.33 by 2.67 by 0.37 inches).

The display is a roomy 4.65 inches, but really only 4 inches of that real estate is usable. The remaining 0.65-inch space is occupied by a customizable shortcut bar that appears at the bottom of the home screens as well as some other internal screens. Even so, the screen feels plenty spacious for all of your gaming, video, and other multimedia desires.

The Galaxy Nexus sports an HD Super AMOLED display. Colors pop from the display and blacks look deep, while fonts and details appear sharp. My only complaint is that whites aren’t as bright as they could be. One of my colleagues remarked that the screen had a slight yellowish tint. Still, I was pleased overall with the quality of the display.

Ice Cream Sandwich is everything I’ve wanted Android to be: intuitive and attractive, while maintaining a high level of customization and performance. Ice Cream Sandwich truly has mass appeal. Icons are sharper, menus are easier to navigate, and performing basic tasks is more efficient than in previous versions.

The photos I shot with the Galaxy Nexus’s 5-megapixel camera looked a bit flat. Colors seemed a bit washed out, and details were a little fuzzy. But even if your photos don’t come out perfect, Ice Cream Sandwich has your back with its suite of photo-editing tools. You get an array of filters (like your very own Hipstamatic app), the capability to adjust the image angle, red-eye removal, cropping capabilities, and more.

Verizon’s 4G LTE network, of course, plays a huge role in the speediness of the Galaxy Nexus. In my tests using the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest app, the Galaxy Nexus achieved download speeds ranging from 6.69 to 12.11 megabits per second and upload speeds of 21.18 mbps. In other words, the Galaxy Nexus is blazingly fast.

Stay tuned for our full rated review of the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon, as well as further coverage of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

7 Tricks For Making Landing Pages Work For You And Your Seo Clients

What makes a landing page work? Why do some landing pages get people to stay, convert, and get shared socially, while others are just given a quick look? How do you build a landing page that really works for your brand?

From the SEO standpoint, there are 4 main problems with landing pages:

Search. A landing page doesn’t seem to answer the search query. This occurs when SEO’s have one landing page for a particular keyword in mind, while search engines choose to place a different one first.

Engagement. The landing page content is not engaging enough.

Awareness match. A landing page is not a match to searcher’s intent and level of brand awareness.

Conversion patterns. A landing page is not a part of a conversion funnel.

This post will give you 7 actionable tips to help you build landing pages that really work for you and your SEO clients. The tips are split according to the opportunities: Search, Engagement, Awareness match, and Conversion Patterns.

The Search Aspect

1.       Set keywords to landing pages matches

For maximum traffic, conversions, and sound performance (high CTR and Avgerage Time on Page, low Bounce rate, and % Exit), you not only need high rankings in search engines for the right keywords, but you also need to rank the right landing pages.

2.       Track if the right landing pages rank

See if your target landing pages show up in Google for your target keywords. Quite often, the page you’re trying to rank – the one that visitors will find useful and relevant to their query – isn’t the page that search engines choose to place first.

You can either run this check manually or with Rank Tracker:

As many of you know, Rank Tracker is integrated with Google Analytics. You’ll also be able to check how much traffic is coming to your target landing page, as well as Bounce Rates.

The Engagement Aspect

3.       Level up the content of your landing pages

Check to see if you have too much content. Even though endless sales copies used to be very popular a while ago and might be still performing well, you should consider a more concise format. Make it easy for visitors to find what they are looking for.

4.       Go an extra mile with your landing pages’ design and layout

See if your content is well-structured. Your layout should make it easy for your readers to know where they should look to fulfill their search intent. Also add visuals to make it as easy as possible for your site visitors to consume the content. These might be short videos, screenshots with explanatory notes, or pictograms that allow readers to scan content easily. These introductions to landing pages often suggest that you cared to put some effort into your content, which helps build trust with your readers.

As a side note, be cautious of copy and design changes that you make for stable landing pages that seem to convert well, but might seem outdated from the content or design standpoint. Ugly sometimes sells and nobody knows why. In most cases, it’s worth launching a new version of an important landing page as part of A/B split testing to test performance.

The awareness match aspect

5.       Diversify for different level of awareness about your content

Your SEO landing pages should be optimized for the level of your customers’ awareness. In other words, you should provide your readers with different content depending on whether they have never heard of your brand, used it occasionally, or are avid fans.

Your visitor’s search intent might sometimes be clear from the keywords they use, so you’ll be able to diversify by finding the right landing pages for particular keywords. Needless to say, it’s important to consider the awareness level when writing the sales copy and choosing the visuals. You need to make sure content consumers get answers to questions they initially had in mind.

Conversion Patterns

6.       Build funnels

Build funnels and check not only separate pages, but also bundles of them. After the landing page, the user gets to register and visit the page where he inserts his personal data. Check various combinations of landing and registration pages. You may find unexpected results here.


7.       Check SEO landing pages metrics

Now that you have all your keywords matched with landing pages in one list, make sure no wrong pages squeeze into search results.

Keep tracking to see how your landing pages engage enough over time. Check Traffic, Bounce Rate, Avg. time on Page and % Exit to make sure your readers see value in your content. The diagram below summarizes the steps you need to take to build great landing pages for your SEO clients:

Image credit: Dreamframer via iStockphoto

Verizon Blackberry Bold 9650 On Sale Thursday For $150

Verizon BlackBerry Bold 9650 on sale Thursday for $150

Verizon has announced that the BlackBerry Bold 9650 will go on sale from Thursday June 3rd, with the QWERTY messaging phone priced at $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and assuming a new, two-year agreement.  The Bold 9650 has EVDO Rev.A and 2100MHz UMTS/HSDPA for global roaming, together with WiFi b/g, a 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, and GPS.

There’s also a copy of VZ Navigator – including international functionality – and push-to-talk support, while memory consists of 512MB of RAM and a microSD slot (a 2GB card is included).  Bluetooth 2.1, a 3.5mm headphone jack and 2.45-inch 480 x 360 display round out the key hardware features.

The Verizon Bold 9650 will show up online for purchase from tomorrow, and in stores from June 10th.  A camera-free version will also be on offer, and of course you’ll need to sign up to both a voice and data plan.

Press Release:

Global-Ready Smartphone Offers New GlobalAccess Connect Service

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless today announced that the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 smartphone will be available to order online at chúng tôi beginning June 3 and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning June 10. Running on the largest and most reliable wireless voice and 3G data network in the United States, the BlackBerry Bold is the first global phone from Verizon Wireless to support GlobalAccess Connect, allowing customers to tether their BlackBerry Bold to a notebook or netbook and use it as a modem for wireless Internet access in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Key features:

Optical trackpad for easy and fluid navigation

Built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g)

Push to Talk feature – Allows customers to leverage Verizon Wireless’ 3G network for instant two-way communication with up to 50 people with the touch of a button

VZ Navigator® version 6 – Gives customers access to free mapping and integration with Bing to sort searches by relevance and a new option to choose day, week or monthly subscriptions

VZ Navigator Global capabilities – Provides turn-by-turn directions and maps in English while navigating through more than 20 destinations, including Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. This easy-to-use application also marks distances in miles or kilometers and finds restaurants, gas stations, banks/ATMs and other popular spots using the Local Search feature

Additional specifications:

Stylish design (4.40″ x 2.44″ x .55″ and 4.8 oz.) with glossy black finish and chrome highlights

Mobile e-mail and messaging capabilities

Large (2.45″) high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi) that displays pictures, videos and Web pages with contrast and detail

3.2 megapixel camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording

BlackBerry® Media Sync to easily sync music as well as photos*.

Support for BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones

512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB microSD™ HC cards (a 2 GB card is pre-installed)

Full HTML Web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP

Built-in GPS with support for location-based applications and services as well as geotagging

Premium phone features, including voice-activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1)

Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America as well as single band UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad

Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for up to 5 hours of CDMA talk time

Pricing and availability:

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone will be available for order online at chúng tôi beginning June 3, and it will be in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning June 10 for $149.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. A non-camera version of the phone will also be available for order online beginning June 3. Customers will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card; upon receipt, customers may use the card as cash anywhere debit cards are accepted.

Verizon Wireless customers will need to subscribe to a Nationwide Talk plan or Nationwide Talk & Text plan and an Email and Web for Smartphone plan. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Email and Web for Smartphone plans start at $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.

GlobalAccess Connect plans are available for $65 monthly access for 5 GB allowance in the United States and Canada ($0.05/MB overage) and 100 MB allowance in select countries ($5.12/MB overage). There is also a $155 monthly access option that offers 5 GB allowance in the United States and Canada and 200 MB allowance in select countries, with the same overage rates as the $65 monthly option.

Customers can add Push to Talk for $5 per month per line and download the service from the Application Center or through VZStart on their handsets. VZ Navigator is available for $2.99 for daily use, $4.99 for seven-day use or $9.99 for monthly subscription.

*Music files may not be supported, including files that contain digital rights management technologies. Photo syncing is currently only available for Windows-based PCs.

Techtarget Reports Second Quarter 2008 Financial Results

TechTarget, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTGT) today announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2008. Total revenues for the second quarter increased by 19% to $29.4 million compared to $24.6 million for the comparable prior year quarter. Online revenue increased by 28% to $20.8 million compared to $16.3 million for the second quarter of 2007 and represented 71% of total revenues. Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as further adjusted for stock-based compensation) for the second quarter decreased by 1% to $7.5 million compared to $7.6 million for the comparable prior year quarter.

Total gross profit margin for the quarter was 69% compared to 70% for the comparable prior year quarter. Online gross profit margin for the quarter was 74% compared to 76% for the comparable prior year quarter.

Net income for the quarter was $1.7 million compared to $3.2 million for the comparable prior year quarter. Adjusted net income (net income adjusted for amortization and stock-based compensation, as further adjusted for the related income tax impact) was $4.3 million compared to $4.9 million for the comparable prior year quarter. Net income per diluted share for the quarter was $0.04 compared to net income per diluted share of $0.08 on a pro forma basis for the comparable prior year quarter. Adjusted net income per share (adjusted net income divided by adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding) for the quarter was $0.10 compared to $0.13 on a pro forma basis for the comparable prior year quarter. As of June 30, 2008, TechTarget had $67.7 million of cash, cash equivalents and short term investments, and bank debt of $4.5 million.

Recent Company Highlights

Won 12 Awards for editorial excellence from independent organizations, including eight Awards of Excellence from the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) and four awards from Trade Association and Business Publications International (TABPI).

Financial guidance

In the third quarter of 2008, the Company expects total revenues to be within the range of $25.0 million to $26.0 million and adjusted EBITDA to be within the range of $4.3 million to $5.1 million.

As previously announced on July 24, 2008, the Company expects 2008 total annual revenues to be within the range of $108 and $112 million and adjusted EBITDA to be within the range of $25 and $27 million. Additionally, the Company expects its online revenue for 2008 to grow between 24% – 30%.

Conference Call and Webcast

(Due to the length of the above URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste it into your Internet browser’s URL address field. You may also need to remove an extra space in the URL if one exists.)

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

This press release and the accompanying tables include a discussion of adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA Margin, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share, all of which are non-GAAP financial measures which are provided as a complement to results provided in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“GAAP”). The term “adjusted EBITDA” refers to a financial measure that we define as earnings before net interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization, as further adjusted for stock-based compensation. The term “adjusted EBITDA Margin” refers to a financial measure which we define as adjusted EBITDA as a percentage of total revenues. The term “adjusted net income” refers to a financial measure which we define as net income adjusted for amortization and stock-based compensation, as further adjusted for the related income tax impact for the specific adjustments. The term “adjusted net income per share” refers to a financial measure which we define as a djusted net income divided by adjusted weighted average diluted shares outstanding. These Non-GAAP measures should be considered in addition to results prepared in accordance with GAAP, but should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, GAAP results. In addition, our definition of adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA Margin, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share may not be comparable to the definitions as reported by other companies. We believe adjusted EBITDA, adjusted EBITDA Margin, adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are relevant and useful information because it provides us and investors with additional measurements to compare the Company’s operating performance. These measures are part of our internal management reporting and planning process and are primary measures used by our management to evaluate the operating performance of our business, as well as potential acquisitions. The components of adjusted EBITDA include the key revenue and expense items for which our operating managers are responsible and upon which we evaluate their performance. In the case of senior management, adjusted EBITDA is used as the principal financial metric in their annual incentive compensation program. Adjusted EBITDA is also used for planning purposes and in presentations to our board of directors. Adjusted net income is useful to us and investors because it presents an additional measurement of our financial performance, taking into account depreciation, which we believe is an ongoing cost of doing business, but excluding the impact of certain non-cash expenses and items not directly tied to the core operations of our business. Furthermore, we intend to provide these non-GAAP financial measures as part of our future earnings discussions and, therefore, the inclusion of these non-GAAP financial measures will provide consistency in our financial reporting. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to GAAP is provided in the accompanying tables.

Forward Looking Statements

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How To Choose A Tablet For Your Business

If you seek basic information on what to look for in a tablet, check out PCWorld’s consumer tablet buying guide. But for business purposes, read on for what you need to know about choosing a slate with the right operating system, apps, connectivity options, hardware, and more.

Operating System

When purchasing a tablet, the first thing to consider is the operating system and the app ecosystem you’re buying into. At the moment, the tablet OS wars have two major players: iOS on the iPad 2 and Android on almost everything else.

Also in the mix, on a handful of tablets, is Microsoft Windows 7. Windows slates haven’t been very successful for several reasons, but mostly because Windows–whether it’s Windows XP, Vista, or 7–is the optimal OS for such a device. While Windows 7 wasn’t designed for tablets, it does a better job than you might think of supporting tapping and swiping, given the small icons and menus it must work with. With a slate that accepts stylus input, it works better. We expect this situation to improve with the arrival of Windows 8 tablets that will have the finger-optimized Windows Phone 7-like Metro interface later this year.

In spite of the interface issues, if you’re using any sort of vertical Windows application, or rely upon some of Microsoft Office’s deeper features, a Windows 7 slate is your only real choice for comprehensive business use.

For general tablet use, Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android makes a better choice in most cases than a Windows 7 tablet. Some tablets, such as Viewsonic’s ViewPad 10, dual-boot to Android and Windows 7. If you really want to enjoy access to a marketplace and all those fun apps, this couild be a better solution than a Windows 7-only tablet.


With Windows 7, you can install nearly any application available for that OS. For iOS and Android, you’re more limited in your choice of business applications, but not as much as you might think.

Some tablet makers, such as Lenovo on its ThinkPad Tablet, offer VPN and even remote Windows desktop options (such as Citrix Receiver) preinstalled.

Unfortunately, online applications such as Google Docs and chúng tôi are not the great solution for tablets that they could be–at least not beyond basic word processing. In practice, they’re simply too keyboard- and mouse-oriented to be used efficiently on a tablet.

Keyboard, Mouse, and Stylus

Of course, dragging a keyboard and mouse around with you begs the question, “Why didn’t I just buy a laptop?” But if you type a lot, you’ll need a real keyboard. Using peripherals with a tablet isn’t as zany an idea as you might think–after all, those tools will make certain tasks easier, and you’ll still have the tablet to use as such when you’re not employing them.

Windows 7 tablets all have USB ports, and most offer Bluetooth, so you can use basically any keyboard or mouse on the market. Some Android tablets have USB ports, but the iPad 2 and many Android tablets rely solely on Bluetooth for peripheral connections.

A few exceptions: Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet and Asus’s Eee Pad Transformer TF101 and Eee Pad Transformer Prime all offer a keyboard and cursor control in a case that uses the USB port or dock.

The $69 Apple Wireless Keyboard and Logitech’s $70 Bluetooth Tablet Keyboard for iPad 2 and for Android (3.0+) are decent units that won’t weigh you down too much. Logitech also makes a $130 folding keyboard that travels a little more compactly, and the company’s $100 keyboard/case for the Samsung Galaxy (10.1 inches) is another workable solution. With Windows 7, a portable mouse is a good and necessary accessory. Navigating its non-finger-optimized interface is difficult at best without it or a stylus. Any of a host of USB (including wireless) and Bluetooth mice that work on laptops and desktops will work just fine on a Windows 7 tablet.

Digital Pens

Most tablets, like the iPad, have a capacitive touchscreen, which senses input from conductive materials, such as a living finger. These will work only with your finger, or a chunky capacitive stylus. But for serious drawing or for taking handwritten notes, you’ll need a special pen-and-tablet combination.

Many of the business-focused Android and Windows slates come with active digitizer technology–which requires an electronic pen–in addition to the capacitive touchscreen. An active digitizer lets you lay your hand on the screen without interfering with the pen’s input, and increases accuracy and pressure sensitivity.

N-Trig-based tablets are great for those who do a lot of handwriting or a little drawing. N-Trig’s Duo Sense dual pen and touch-active digitizers are found in Android tablets with N-Trig’s digitizer, such as the HTC Flyer and Jetstream and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. N-Trig-based Windows slates include the Fujitsu Q550, both the HP Slate 500 and the newer Slate 2, and the Motion CL900.

Each of the Android tablets comes with special note-taking software, such as Notes on the HTC tablets, and My Script Notes Mobile on the ThinkPad. However, if you want to do more drawing, you’ll want to check out Wacom-based Windows slates like the Asus EP121 or the Samsung Series 7. Wacom pens will not work on N-Trig tablets, and vice-versa.

Connectivity and Ports

Wi-Fi: All tablets have Wi-Fi. However, not all have 802.11a, the 5GHz band traditionally used by businesses. 5GHz is also used in newer dual-band consumer-grade routers and can result in a better connection, simply because there are fewer devices using it.

The iPad 2 supports 802.11a, as does the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, but many others do not. This is a feature some business users might need to connect in their offices.

Broadband: An increasing number of tablets have wireless broadband. Some iPad 2 models provide 3G broadband connectivity to either AT&T or Verizon and on a month-to-month basis–no service agreement. Samsung’s 4G Galaxy Tabs, Motorola’s 4G LTE Droid XyBoards, and others sold by providers also offer broadband, but these models are on a two-year contract basis. Given the fast pace of change in tablets today, a two-year contract could be too long a commitment for a small business.

If you’re buying a tablet with mobile broadband, we suggest sticking with one that has 4G, so you can get the maximum possible speeds. At this writing, you’re limited to 3G on an iPad 2.

Ultimately, whether you’ll need broadband is something only you can decide, but either way, expect the broadband-enabled tablet to cost more than the baseline model. It might be more flexible for your business to use a mobile hotspot such as Samsung’s LTE router, instead.

Bluetooth: You probably want Bluetooth if you have any intention of using a portable keyboard and mouse with your tablet. For connecting peripherals, 2.1 is fine. Few tablets lack Bluetooth, with the exception of some value-priced, consumer-centric models such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet.

USB: Whether you need USB depends on how you want to store and transfer files, and whether you want to leverage USB peripherals (such as a mouse, gaming pad, or keyboard). Apple’s iPad lacks any integrated ports, though you can add one that will communicate with digital cameras for $30. Only a handful of Android tablets, including the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet, the Acer Iconia A500, and the Toshiba Thrive, have full-size USB ports that will power an external drive. More common are micro-USB and mini-USB ports that won’t.

HDMI: If you intend to use your tablet as a presentation tool, and want more folks than those sitting next to you at the table to see what you’re showing, you’ll need video output. HDMI is by far the most common type–and even the iPad supports it via a $40 adapter.

Camera: You’ll definitely want a forward-facing camera if you intend to make video calls or do videoconferencing. The lack of this feature was a major drawback of the first-generation iPad and some early Android tablets, but forward-facing cameras are now almost universal, though resolution varies. If you want to impress your clients, look for at least 1.3 megapixels that will do 720p video, although you’ll need a fast connection to use the higher resolution.

Look for the same resolution in the rear-facing camera, which is handy for snapping photos and for capturing documents and business cards using a scanning or OCR app.


The iPad, however, supports transferring large amounts of data directly from a PC using iTunes or from online storage services such as iCloud, Mozy, or Dropbox. However, downloading from an online storage account can be frustratingly slow on the road. Wi-Fi hard drives, such as Seagate’s GoFlex Satellite Mobile Wireless Storage, are a faster option (in most cases) for the iPad.

A more critical issue is that, depending on the app and service you’re using, you may not be able to do much more than view your document inside that app on your iPad. For example, if you download a Word doc, you may only be able to view it in the app, not open it in another app to edit it.


Security and data encryption are major issues for many business users, and for some companies, the lack of security will eliminate many tablets from consideration.

Windows 7 has Bitlocker (Ultimate and Enterprise versions only) and numerous third-party apps that implement security; Android 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) and later offers system encryption; and the iPad has encrypted everything stored on it since day one. Android 2.x does not encrypt and is still offered on many tablets–avoid those if you have data you need to protect.

Android, iOS, and Windows 7 all provide a means of establishing a VPN connection, so accessing your company network is easy as well. How many resources you can access is the issue. With Windows 7 and Android you can browse storage, but with the iPad you’re limited to basic company communications, such as email and bulletin boards.

Lenovo has gone the extra yard with security considerations for its IdeaPad Tablet. Not only does it offer Cisco VPN and Good Technologies secure e-mail, it also lets you encrypt data on removable storage. It also ships with Citrix Receiver, so users can work with a remote Windows desktop under the control of IT. Your techs will love those features.

Final Advice

A tablet can meet at least some of your business needs, but it’s most likely going to entail some compromise in the way you work. If you have software that requires Windows, then you need a Windows tablet–no way around it. If you don’t have that constraint, then the iPad and Android tablets are more finger-friendly options.

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